Bradley Manning: ‘I Am Chelsea Manning. I Am Female’

by | August 22, 2013 at 8:29 AM | The Today Show, TV News

Bradley Manning: 'I Am Chelsea Manning. I Am Female'


By Tim Molloy

A day after being sentenced to 35 years in prison, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning announced in a statement to “Today” that she identifies as female and wants to be known as Chelsea Manning.

“I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition. I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility). I look forward to receiving letters from supporters and having the opportunity to write back,” said Manning.

Also read: Bradley Manning’s Attorney Asks Obama to Pardon Him

On Tuesday, David Coombs, Manning’s attorney, called on President Obama to pardon Manning or commute her sentence to time served. It was unclear whether Manning identifying as female would change the location of her imprisonment.

During his trial, Manning’s attorneys presented evidence that their client struggled with gender identity disorder, a strong feeling of being trapped in the body of the opposite gender. They presented evidence of Manning’s struggle that included a picture of the private in a blond wig and lipstick (above).

Also read: WikiLeaks Mole Bradley Manning Convicted of Espionage, Acquitted of Aiding the Enemy

Here is the full text of the letter:

Subject: The Next Stage of My Life

I want to thank everybody who has supported me over the last three years. Throughout this long ordeal, your letters of support and encouragement have helped keep me strong. I am forever indebted to those who wrote to me, made a donation to my defense fund , or came to watch a portion of the trial. I would especially like to thank Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network for their tireless efforts in raising awareness for my case and providing for my legal representation.

As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition. I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility). I look forward to receiving letters from supporters and having the opportunity to write back.

Thank you,

Chelsea E. Manning

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